Though it is an unusually pleasant Colorado Springs morning outside my window today, I understand that in much of the country, that is not the case. Here are 5 apologetics videos and podcasts that you can have playing in the background as you do a puzzle, drink some hot chocolate, and avoid shoveling those sidewalks. It’s the perfect day to learn something new!
There’s something that has been weighing on me, as I’m sure it has weighed on some of you. If it hasn’t, please bear with me and try to see where I’m coming from.
Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism.
There. I’ve said the terms in the same sentence and already many of you are probably getting nervous, or upset, or disappointed, or whatever. But like I said, please bear with me. Up front I’d like to say that I’m not advocating for either position in this article, per say, but rather advocating for respectful, honest dialogue, and grace. Naturally, I have an opinion, but that’s not the point of this article, and it’s not something that we want to take a hard line on at Youth Apologetics Network. We see great value in non-inflammatory conversations that avoid using straw man and ad hominem and all of the other unreasonable tactics that are too often used during these age of the earth conversations (so much so that we made a book for families).
This isn’t an article about who is right and who is wrong; it’s about how we interact with each other. It’s about how we raise up the next generation of children to interact with each other.
In this presentation, Sean McDowell gives a brief overview of the intelligent design movement. He highlights some of the more persuasive evidences for its truth, and begins by discussing the pervasiveness of Darwinism as a worldview and its impact on everyday life. Darwinism ultimately teaches that we are accidental by-products of blind forces in nature and that all life is doomed to die as the universe cools. What a depressing way to look at the world!
Our children love dinosaurs. I am sure that they are not alone in this fascination with these giant beasts of the past, but for some, this fascination is not to be encouraged. There are some well-meaning Christians that believe that dinosaurs are from Satan or that God put evidence of dinosaurs in the fossil record to test our faith. Behind these ideas are likely an effort to make a certain view of Scripture fit with the observations of modern scientists.
On the 28th of September, many museums observed Free Museum Day by offering (you guessed it) free admission. The Creation and Earth Museum in Santee, California, offers free admission all year long, but observed the day instead by hosting a free family event that featured a number of guest speakers, including Ray Comfort, and the rollout of several new “Kids Knee High Exhibits.”
This week, we watched Illustra Media’s Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies. Wow! We had no idea how richly complex the butterfly lifecycle actually is, and were floored by the thorough presentation of growth and transformation from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly and then by the sheer improbability of the Monarch butterfly’s migratory pattern.
At the end of the video, we were left staring blankly at each other, struggling to understand how anyone could chalk these creatures up to random, undirected chance. Please, give it a watch(you may be able to check it out at a library, like we did, if you aren’t able to purchase) and let us know your thoughts.
This film, while visually appealing, will probably lose the attention of a younger child. There is fairly complex terminology at times, and it is just over an hour long, so it may be better suited for the approaching-junior-high age and beyond. One suggestion might be to watch the film yourself, and then raise some butterflies with your children. As the butterflies grow, you can explain to your children what different things are happening within the caterpillar and chrysalis. We found a butterfly kit here, but there are probably plenty of places to pick up one of your own.
At times, the fittingness of the film is poor(there seems to be African music in the background, yet all of the subject matter takes place in North and Central America?) but as a whole, the quality of the content is very high. Purchase Metamorphosis through Illustra Media here, or watch a preview here.
Watching Metamorphosis got us thinking about evolution and intelligent design, so we decided to round up a few resources for you, many of which you can share with your children. Even if you don’t have children, these are good things for adults to know and to have on hand.
“A watch needs a watchmaker, that’s plain to see, a designer and builder that makes it for me.”
A video from Kids 4 Truth titled “The Watchmaker.” It is a colorful, rhyming story that depicts a watch being made through natural processes and then describes the unlikelihood of such a story by contrasting it with what is known about the actual workings of cells. This is a great, short, conversation starter for young children: http://kids4truth.com/Dyna/Watchmaker/English.aspx
“Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record is a documentary by Illustra Media exploring the Cambrian Explosion: the sudden appearance of major animal types in the fossil record. This review will provide an overview of the content.”
This is another video by Illustra Media that is probably too weighty for very young audiences, but is a boon for young (and old) adults.
Check out a review of Darwin’s Dilemma on Apologetics315.
A Parent’s Guide to Intelligent Design
Parents, this pdf is for you. Produced by the Discovery Institute, it presents the debate between Darwinism and intelligent design, and explains why it is so important to understand. It provides definitions of evolution, explains clearly the stance and validity of intelligent design, and even presents problems with scientific Darwinian evolution. Pages 22-24 provide brief action points for parents(Parent or not, support intelligent design and become an advocate for its teaching in public schools and elsewhere) to help equip publicly educated kids defend their position and be able to discern logical fallacies that they will hear at school. Pages 25-27 list a number of excellent resources including videos, books and textbooks. It is a 30 page document that was helpful for us as we plan the education of our future children and also have discussions with other folks that are already navigating the waters.
Evolution: Philosophy, not Science
“Then why do we call evolution a fact when evolution can’t even get off the ground, based on the information we have right now? The answer you get is always the same: Because we’re here. It must have happened . That’s called circular reasoning, friends, based on a prior commitment to naturalism that won’t be shaken by the facts.”
A reflection on evolution being philosophy, not science, on Stand to Reason’s blog.
ID of the Future
“This episode of ID the Future features part two of an interview with Dr. Rebecca Keller, who discusses the nature of science and interpretation and how it applies to science education. Her textbooks focus on the practice of science, and are available at Gravitas Publications.”
Looks like an interesting listen.